Saturday, May 04, 2013
AviTrader Daily Aviation News Alert
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February 20, 2015 · 542 Views
The bitter dispute between US- and Gulf-based airlines has reached a new level after Emirates flatly rejected an open apology made concerning what was seen as incredibly tactless and insensitive remarks made by Delta’s Chief Executive, Richard Anderson. The unfortunate incident relates back to comments made by a group of American airlines that a number of the larger Gulf carriers had benefited from state subsidies amounting to a figure in excess of US$40bn. As a consequence the American airlines either wanted to renegotiate or scrap the current Open Skies agreement.
Offended by such claims, the Gulf carriers retaliated by questioning whether or not US airlines had received government subsidies totaling US$5bn in the wake of 9/11. Unfortunately Delta’s Anderson, responding to this claim on CNN, said: “It’s a great irony to have the United Arab Emirates from the Arabian Peninsula talk about that, given the fact that our industry was really shocked by the terrorism of 9/11, which came from terrorists from the Arabian Peninsula.” While the UAE and Qatar, two of the States’ allies who have offered either military or logistical support for international operations were particularly upset by these comments, Delta simply made it clear that Anderson had been responding to claims regarding post 9/11 subsidies. “He didn’t mean to suggest the Gulf carriers or their governments are linked to the 9/11 terrorists. We apologize if anyone was offended.”
Unfortunately the largest of the three main Gulf carriers did not see this as acceptable. “We believe that the statements made this week by Mr. Anderson were deliberately crafted and delivered for specific effect,” it confirmed in a statement. However US airlines continue to complain that they have lost significant numbers of bookings since 2008 as a result of Gulf competition and cited documents they indicate demonstrate aid which has allowed their competitors to offer cheap fares. In retaliation, Gulf officials say that most US carriers do not fly the same routes and are losing business only because they offer an inferior service.
This is not a dissimilar situation to the one between Gulf airlines and European carriers, including Lufthansa, and coincidentally has come at the same time as US airlines are trying to have US Exlm Bank closed down. They believe Gulf carriers are benefitting to a greater degree from the export credit agency. The tit-for-tat dialog continues with Western airlines showing concern for the safety of thousands of service industry jobs, a complaint to which Gulf carriers have responded by making it very clear they support at least as many jobs in the aerospace sector with their huge orders for aircraft.
February 20, 2015 · 640 Views
Snecma (Safran), a leading manufacturer of aircraft engines, and Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), a leading aerospace manufacturer, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on January 28th, 2015 in Bangalore to explore establishing a joint venture in India for the production of aero-engine parts. The proposed joint venture will initially focus on the manufacture of high-tech parts for the Dassault Rafale’s Snecma M88 engine, then subsequently contribute to other major aerospace projects of HAL & Snecma, in India and worldwide. Spanning over 30,000 m², the proposed joint venture’s new plant is expected to benefit from substantial investment by the two partners, providing it with state-of-the-art machinery and equipment. This agreement marks a major step forward in the long-standing collaboration between Snecma and HAL. The proposed joint venture will further broaden the scope of the excellent relations established over the past 60 years between Safran affiliates and the Indian aerospace industry. For example, Snecma manufactures the M53 engines powering the Mirage 2000H “Vajra” fighters operated by the Indian Air Force.
December 2, 2014 · 195 Views
On the 7th January 2013 a fire was reported on board a Boeing 787 Dreamliner while parked at Boston’s airport in the USA. The fire was put down to a problem with one of the plane’s lithium-ion batteries. A week later an All Nippon Airways 787 Dreamliner had to make an emergency landing after smoke was discovered inside the plane which was subsequently traced back to another lithium-ion battery. As a consequence of this incident, all 787 Dreamliners were grounded until April of that year until further acceptable testing and improvements were carried out to the battery system on board the plane. The battery itself was manufactured by GS Yuasa and comprised eight individual cells making up a combined weight of 63lbs.
Nearly two years later and the results of the investigation into the first incident have concluded that the lithium-ion battery installed in the plane should not have received certification by the FAA. The National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) were also critical of Boeing who they believed had erroneously ruled out the chances of thermal runaway in its assessment of the battery’s safety. Boeing’s battery tests to obtain original certification included crushing battery cells, driving nails through them and deliberately introducing short circuits to cause failure. Boeing found “nothing adverse happened” while these tests were carried out, and so deemed the battery’s box and internal protection to be of an acceptable standard. Boeing stated that it had followed the certification process set out by the FAA. It would seem that while the cause of the fire has been clearly identified, responsibility for its occurrence has not been accepted in full by anyone.
November 5, 2014 · 162 Views
Back in February this year, Rolls-Royce, the FTSE-100 engine maker, lost over £3bn of its value after shocking the market with its first profits warning in a decade. To announce a second one this October has created considerable concern and Rolls-Royce has decided that over the next 18 months they need to reduce costs by up to £80m a year by axing 2,600 jobs, the majority of which will be in the aerospace sector in Britain and the United States. The focus is on Rolls-Royce’s key Trent engines as they move from the development to the production phase, which consequently requires fewer engineers.
Back in February John Rishton, Rolls-Royce group’s Chief Executive, had admitted that the future was “bumpier than I had expected”, while blaming the current problems on deteriorating economic conditions and a tit-for-tat trade war between the EU and Russia over the Ukrainian crisis which had affected its nuclear and energy business as well as its power-systems unit. This week Rishton has had to admit that “We are taking determined management action and accelerating our progress on cost. The measures announced today will not be the last; however they will contribute towards Rolls-Royce becoming a stronger and more profitable company.”
Another consequence of the situation is the unexpected departure of Finance Director, Mark Morris, leaving the company after 27 year without any explanation. He will be replaced by David Smith, who is being promoted from Finance Director of the Rolls-Royce Aerospace division. This second profit warning saw share value fall 11% to 832p, wiping a further £2bn off the company’s value. However, news of the redundancies was well received by investors and the share price rallied by 2%, currently standing at 832p. This is clear confirmation of comments made by Espirito Santo’s analyst, Ed Stacey, who indicated that investors would be expecting a clear message from the new Finance Director and tight control on all finances.
March 25, 2014 · 111 Views
Air France-KLM selected the GEnx-1B engine to power its 25 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 12 leased 787 aircraft. The total engine order is valued at more than $1.7bn. Air France-KLM and GE Aviation have also signed an agreement that will allow Air France-KLM to offer maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for the GEnx-1B engine. Under this agreement, Air France-KLM will be licensed to perform maintenance and overhaul work on the GEnx-1B engine and GE will provide technical support and assistance on overhaul workscoping and component repair licenses, comprehensive material support and training.
March 7, 2014 · 78 Views
International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) has closed a new senior secured term loan of $1.5 billion. The loan will bear interest at LIBOR plus 275 basis points with a 0.75% LIBOR floor, is priced at 99.5% of par value, and will mature in 2021. The collateral used to support the transaction has an initial weighted average age of 9.1 years. It will be secured primarily by a first priority-perfected lien on the equity of certain of ILFC’s subsidiaries, which directly or indirectly own a pool of aircraft and related leases. ILFC plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including purchasing aircraft and supporting the company’s liquidity cushion.
February 26, 2014 · 78 Views
In 2013, Airbus achieved a new industry record of 1,619 gross commercial orders (FY 2012: 914 gross orders) with net orders of 1,503 aircraft (FY 2012: 833 net orders), excluding ATR. Gross orders comprised 1,253 A320 Family aircraft, 77 A330s, 239 A350 XWBs and 50 A380s. Fourth-quarter orders included Emirates Airline’s agreement for 50 A380s and Etihad Airways’ order for 50 A350 XWBs, 36 A320neos and one A330-200F. Airbus Military (now part of Airbus Defence and Space) received 17 net orders (FY 2012: 32 net orders). Airbus’ net order intake increased sharply to €202.3bn (FY 2012: €88.9bn). At the end of 2013, Airbus’ consolidated order book was valued at €647.4bn (year-end 2012: €525.5bn). The Airbus Commercial backlog was worth €627.1bn (year-end 2012: €505.3bn), comprising 5,559 Airbus aircraft (year-end 2012: 4,682 units) and representing over eight years of production. Airbus Military’s order book was worth €20.8bn (year-end 2012: €21.1bn). Airbus series aircraft deliveries increased to 626 aircraft (FY 2012: 588 aircraft, including three A330s without revenue recognition). Airbus Military delivered 31 aircraft (FY 2012: 29 aircraft). Airbus’ consolidated revenues increased seven percent to €42,012m (FY 2012: €39,273m), reflecting higher commercial and military aircraft deliveries. The Division’s consolidated EBIT rose to €1,710m (FY 2012: €1,252m). Airbus Commercial’s revenues rose to €39,889m (FY 2012: €37,624m). The Airbus Commercial reported EBIT was €1,595m (FY 2012: €1,147m) with the EBIT before one-off at €2,216m (FY 2012: €1,669m). Airbus Commercial’s EBIT before one-off benefitted from the improved operational performance, including favourable volume, some better pricing and an improvement in A380 losses. It also included higher A350 XWB programme support costs. Revenues at Airbus Military rose to €2,893m (FY 2012: €2,131m), driven by the A400M ramp-up and higher volumes from both light and medium transport planes and tankers. The EBIT at Airbus Military was €166m (FY 2012: €93m).
January 29, 2014 · 74 Views
Boeing Commercial Airplanes fourth-quarter revenue increased to $14.7bn and full-year revenue increased to a record $53bn on higher delivery volume. Fourth-quarter operating margin improved to 10.3% and full-year operating margin grew to 10.9% on the higher volume, favorable delivery mix and continued strong operating performance. During the quarter, the company launched the 777X with 259 orders and commitments. During the year, the 787 program completed first flight of the 787-9, successfully launched the 787-10 and began operating at a 10 per month production rate in final assembly. The 737 program delivered at a record production rate of 38 per month and has won nearly 1,800 firm orders for the 737 MAX since launch. In 2013, a record 648 commercial aircraft were delivered. In January 2014, the company reached an eight-year contract extension through 2024 with the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers District 751 (IAM). Commercial Airplanes booked 465 net orders during the quarter and 1,355 during the year. Backlog remains strong with 5,080 airplanes valued at a record $374 billion.
January 9, 2014 · 65 Views
The A350 XWB development aircraft, MSN3, is in Bolivia where it will perform a series of tests at the high altitude airfields of Cochabamba and La Paz. Cochabamba is around 8,300 feet above sea level, and La Paz is one of the world’s highest airports at 13,300 feet. Operations at such high altitude airfields are particularly demanding on aircraft engines, Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) and systems. The aim of these trials is to demonstrate and validate the full functionality of engines, systems, materials as well as to assess the overall aircraft behaviour under these extreme conditions. A number of take-offs with all engines operating and with simulated engine failures are being performed at each of the airfields to collect data on engine operating characteristics and validate the aircraft take-off performance. The autopilot behaviour will also be evaluated during automatic landings and go-arounds. Since the A350 XWB’s first flight with MSN1 on June 14th 2013, over 800 flight test hours have been performed in close to 200 test flights by both MSN1 and MSN3. In total the A350 XWB flight test campaign will accumulate around 2,500 flight hours with the fleet of five aircraft. The rigorous flight testing will lead to the certification of the A350-900 by the European EASA and US FAA airworthiness authorities, prior to entry into service in Q4 2014.
July 5, 2013 · 64 Views
Firefly, Malaysia Airlines’ subsidiary carrier has taken ownership of its first brand-new ATR 72-600. The aircraft is the first of 20 latest generation firm ATRs, plus 16 options, ordered by Malaysia Airlines in December 2012. Firefly currently operates 12 ATR 72-500s, and with the arrival of the new ATR 72-600s will almost triple its exclusively ATR 72 aircraft fleet, taking the total to over 30 aircraft.
June 26, 2013 · 40 Views
Certification testing is underway on the first Passport development engine at GE Aviation’s Peebles Testing Operation in Ohio. The engine began ground testing on June 24th and ran for more than three hours, reaching more than 18,000 lbs. of standard day sea-level takeoff thrust. Eight Passport engines and one core will be involved in the engine certification program. Flight testing on GE’s flying testbed is scheduled for 2014. Engine certification is expected in 2015. The Passport engine certification program follows three years of validation testing. GE Aviation has conducted validation tests on the fan blisk design, including two fan blade-out rig tests, ingestion tests and a fan aero rig test to demonstrate fan efficiency. Testing is complete on the third eCore demonstrator, and GE has accumulated more than 300 hours of testing on eCore demonstrators to date.
May 22, 2013 · 53 Views
Rolls-Royce has won an order from US leasing company CIT Aerospace for Trent XWB engines, to power ten Airbus A350 XWB aircraft and Trent 700 engines to power 13 Airbus A330 aircraft. The Trent XWB engines will power ten CIT A350 aircraft that were announced in January 2013 which were in addition to five A350 XWB aircraft already on order. The Trent XWB, specifically designed for the Airbus A350, is the fastest selling Trent engine ever, with more than 1,200 already sold. The engine variant that will power the A350-800 and -900 was awarded European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification in February. The engine will power the first flight of the Airbus A350 XWB this year and the aircraft’s first in-service flight in 2014.
May 2, 2013 · 11 Views
British Airways Engineering, a leading Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) provider, has announced that it is expanding its commercial Learning Academy to help customers as they bring Boeing 787s and Airbus A380s into their fleets. The first such course targets engineers wishing to qualify in 787 B1/B2 maintenance theory with the Trent 1000 engine. The first commercially available course, which commences on June 3, 2013, has openings for 16 students and will run for 35 working days. The 787 training course and state-of-the-art classroom built to Boeing specifications is ideal for the commercial market, and draws heavily on British Airways Engineering’s extensive firsthand experience in aircraft maintenance.
May 2, 2013 · 2 Views
MTU Aero Engines is adding a new chapter to the success story of the turbine center frame for the GEnx engine: In the past four years, Germany’s leading engine manufacturer has moved from one milestone to the next in quick succession, and has now shipped the 200th module. “We’ve accomplished this milestone in record time,” states Egon Behle. MTU’s CEO emphasizes the importance of this module for MTU: “The GEnx powers the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and is the sole engine for the Boeing 747-8, and we supply all of the turbine center frames.” The order book, too, shows the significance of the project: So far, around 1,400 orders, including options, have been received for General Electric’s new propulsion system. The total demand is estimated at about 4,400 GEnx engines.
May 2, 2013 · 8 Views
Rolls-Royce has acquired Hyper-Therm High Temperature Composites (Hyper-Therm HTC, Inc), a producer of state-of-the-art composite materials, including ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), engineered coatings and thermal-structural components. Hyper-Therm HTC will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rolls-Royce, and will be based in Huntington Beach, California. The site will serve as the hub for technical development of CMCs, which will find applications in a broad range of future Rolls-Royce power systems.
May 2, 2013 · 12 Views
Air Lease Corporation (AL) announced long term lease agreements with Korean Air for two new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which are scheduled for delivery in November 2014 and May 2015.
May 2, 2013 · 10 Views
Aircastle reported first quarter 2013 total revenues of $176.2m, an increase of $11.3m, or 7% versus the previous year. The increase reflects $8.2m of higher lease rental and finance lease revenues, $4.2m of higher maintenance revenues associated with unscheduled lease terminations, and $4.3m of higher other revenues from interest on debt investments and additional revenue in connection with early lease terminations. These increases were partially offset by higher amortization of net lease premiums and incentives in the first quarter of 2013 of $5.5m, primarily due to two unscheduled lease transitions in the first quarter of the prior year which led to comparatively lower amortization of lease incentives. Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter was $168.6 million, up $16.7 million or 11% from the first quarter of 2012, driven primarily by higher lease rentals, maintenance and other revenues of $16.8. Net income for the first quarter was $23.1m, down $9.5m, or 29%. Higher total revenues of $11.3m and $1.0m of higher gains from the sale of aircraft were offset by higher interest, net of $10.2m, higher depreciation of $5.4m and non-cash aircraft impairment charges of $6.2m. Adjusted net income for the quarter was $27.4m, down $5.0m year over year, and reflects higher total revenues of $11.3m and $1.0m of higher gains from the sale of aircraft. These increases were offset by non-cash impairment charges of $6.2m, higher depreciation of $5.4m and higher adjusted interest expense, maintenance and other costs of $5.6m.
May 2, 2013 · 13 Views
Spirit AeroSystems Holdings reported first quarter 2013 financial results reflecting continued strong demand for large commercial aircraft and strong core program operating performance. Spirit’s first quarter 2013 revenues were $1.442bn, up 14% from $1.266bn for the same period of 2012, driven by higher production volumes and model mix. Operating income was $145m, up from $122m for the same period in 2012, driven by increased volume and productivity and efficiency on core programs, partially offset by a net pre-tax ($15)m additional forward-loss on the 787 program related to the wing. Net income for the quarter was $81m, compared to net income of $74m in the same period of 2012. The increase in current quarter income was partially offset by the negative impact of foreign currency exchange rates.
May 2, 2013 · 14 Views
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, a leading global provider of outsourced aircraft and aviation operating solutions, confirmed the placement of its eighth Boeing 747-8 Freighter into ACMI service. The aircraft will fly on behalf of Etihad Cargo, the cargo arm of Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, pursuant to a multiyear aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance agreement that commences in May 2013. The new contract between the companies follows a letter of intent announced on April 1, 2013, and complements an existing Boeing 747-400F ACMI arrangement between Atlas and Etihad. The aircraft will be operated in full Etihad Cargo livery.
May 2, 2013 · 10 Views
Delta reported April traffic decreased 0.7% compared to the same month last year, while capacity increased 0.5%. The load factor for the month of April was slightly down by 1.0 point to 81.8% compared to the previous year.
May 2, 2013 · 10 Views
In late March, AFI KLM E&M was awarded FRA21 approval following an audit by the DSAE State Air Safety Department, the French Air Force, and the DGA General Directorate for Armament. The approval means that not only will AFI KLM E&M be able to carry out design work on the French Air Force’s AWACS, but also to certificate it. Although AFI KLM E&M already benefits from its long experience in overhaul, repair and modification work on the French Air Force’s AWACS and C135s, the new approval further endorses the MRO’s military product knowhow and skills. AFI KLM E&M is currently the only MRO to benefit from dual FRA21 and FRA145 approval. The latter, which covers overhauls to military aircraft, was obtained in April 2011.
May 2, 2013
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has opened a line maintenance base at Singapore’s Changi International Airport, the carrier’s eighth outside Abu Dhabi. Equipped with the latest technology, the new facility will perform all scheduled and non-scheduled line maintenance for Etihad Airways’ daily flights operating to Singapore from both Abu Dhabi and Brisbane. This includes transit, daily and weekly checks, scheduled engineering services, and fault repairs for aircraft systems and cabin issues. From its UAE hub, Etihad Airways operates daily return flights to Singapore and onwards to state capital of Queensland, Australia. Etihad Airways is deploying a team of Abu Dhabi-trained line maintenance aircraft engineers to be based at the new Singapore facility. The airline’s existing line maintenance facilities are in Dublin, Chicago, Lahore, London-Heathrow, Manchester, Melbourne and Sydney.
May 2, 2013 · 10 Views
GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) has delivered two new Airbus A320 aircraft to Jetstar Japan as part of a purchase-and-leaseback transaction. Jetstar Japan inaugurated its low-fare domestic service in 2012 and currently operates a fleet of nine Airbus A320 aircraft to five destinations.
May 2, 2013 · 21 Views
Direct Maintenance and Air Mauritius, the national carrier of Mauritius, have commenced a line maintenance partnership. Direct Maintenance engineers at Nairobi (NBO), Kenya, will be attending the Air Mauritius A319 aircraft landing into NBO on frequent basis, making sure the flights are operated in a safe and timely manner
May 3, 2013 · 5 Views
CFM International has completed design freeze for the advanced LEAP-1B engine, the exclusive powerplant for the Boeing 737 MAX, paving the way for the first full engine to test in mid-2014. This milestone is effectively the point at which the engine configuration is set, or frozen. This now allows CFM to finalize and release detailed engine design drawings, which it will do over the next six months. Parts manufacturing for the LEAP-1B engine will then accelerate through year end, leading to build-up of the first engine in early 2014. The LEAP-1B is on schedule for CFM flight testing in 2015 and engine certification in 2016. The 737 MAX is scheduled to enter service in 2017. Design freeze for the LEAP-1A / LEAP-1C variants was achieved in June 2012. The first full LEAP engine, the LEAP-1A, is currently being built and is on schedule to begin ground testing this fall.
May 3, 2013 · 9 Views
Go Airlines (GoAir), a leading provider of low fare services in the growing Indian aviation market, has successfully gone live on Ramco’s Aviation Maintenance & Engineering (M&E) suite of software for its 15 fleet across 21 base stations. The go-live marked Ramco’s web-based Series 5 M&E software and Ramco ePublications, seamlessly integrate with GoAir’s existing Flight Operations ARMS system and SAP Financials. Integration with ARMS has helped GoAir create journey logs automatically whereby users get to know of flight schedules in advance, thus enabling them in better aircraft planning. Ramco’s integration with SAP financials has helped in smooth flow of transactions between the two systems.
May 3, 2013 · 9 Views
Hard on the heels of acquiring a second UK business aviation maintenance base at London Biggin Hill Airport, JETS CEO Dave Jackson announced today 2nd May 2013, the appointment of a new Group Managing Director, Alan Barnes, with immediate effect. Alan joins 328 Group-owned JETS from Inflite Jet Centre, where he was Customer Support Manager, instrumental in shaping and developing the company’s Customer Support operations, including acting as principal conduit for its Embraer Support facility.
May 3, 2013 · 9 Views
Erickson Air-Crane, a leading global provider of aviation services to a diverse mix of commercial and government customers and the vertical manufacturer and operator of the powerful, heavy-lift helicopter, the Erickson S-64 Aircrane, has entered into a new $100m, five-year revolving credit facility with a group of financial institutions led by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. and including Bank of the West, Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, and HSBC Bank USA NA. The interest rate under the credit agreement is 325-450 basis points over the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) depending on the Company’s senior leverage ratio. The proceeds under the credit agreement are expected to be used for general corporate purposes.
May 3, 2013 · 15 Views
As part of its ongoing work to double its investment in the U.S. economy over the next 20 years, Airbus has created and filled the new position of Director, Research and Technology (R&T), Airbus Americas. David Paul Hills previously with Airbus Operations in the United Kingdom, started at the new job on May 1st. He will be based at Airbus Americas headquarters in Herndon, Virginia, and will report directly to Airbus Americas President and CEO, Barry Eccleston. Hills will also liaise closely with EADS North America, also based in Herndon.
May 3, 2013 · 10 Views
AJW Capital Partners Limited, part of the AJW Group of companies, purchased two new A340-500 aircraft from Airbus SAS at the end of November 2012. These aircraft are now poised to enter commercial service with Azerbaijan Airlines after extensive repainting and cabin configuration co-ordinated by AJW’s in-house technical team.